Repairs being made at Western Vance, but still no solution
Repairs at Western Vance High School are being made, but Monday’s Vance County Board of Education meeting did not yield a long-term solution should the heating system fail this winter.
Ruth Hartness, building and grounds chairperson, reported to the full board that the committee had not yet come up with a solution to the problem of leaking steam pipes in Western Vance.
She said the committee tabled the discussions on upgrading the boiler system and plans to gather more information about possible solutions.
Claiborne Woods, facilities directors, said his crews recently replaced about 200 feet of piping in Western Vance in order to keep the heat running until county school leaders find a long-term solution. The school board still has not determined a contingency plan if the patchwork fails to stops leaks and Western students must relocate.
The poor condition of the 93-year-old school building’s pipes came to the attention of the building and grounds committee in April and the school board has received brief updates at its May, August and September meetings.
In addition to building and grounds, the personnel and community relations committees each met last month and the board approved the committees’ reports. The finance, policy and curriculum committees did not meet.
Superintendent Ronald Gregory shared plans for a community education forum on Nov. 12 to address education issues in Vance County.
“This is the first time I can recall since the 1960s an elected official stepped out and said, ‘We need to do something about education in Vance County,'” Gregory said.
Gregory was referring to Tommy Hester, the chairman of the county commissioners. Earlier this month Hester said he had issued invitations for the summit on education, extending invitations to several stakeholders.
State Sen. Angela Bryant attended Monday’s meeting, extending an invite and update on plans for a legislative roundtable with Rep. Nathan Baskerville. The two Democrats have invited pastors and faith leaders to a gathering on Oct. 26 to discuss the Affordable Care Act, the Rural Health Group, voting rights and updates to the new N.C. Families Accessing Services through Technology computer system used by Vance County Department of Social Services.
The school board unanimously approved the superintendent’s report, including a resolution to recognize Johnnie Jacqueline Young Mims Sanders, a native of Vance County who served as an educator for nearly 46 years.
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